(More) scattered thoughts on my life in the Christian 'industry'

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
'When the Rain Falls' photo (c) 2008, Fe Ilya - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

This is something of a follow-up to a post I wrote in March


I hid in the green room this time, just like I swore I’d never do. 

I hid because I was tired--tired of traveling, tired of working,  tired of forgetting good people’s names, tired of sleeping without Dan, tired of Rachel Held Evans, tired of myself. 

Green rooms can’t protect you from that last part, by the way. They can’t hide you from your big, fat poser self. No VIP pass can keep the insecurities out, the feeling that you don’t belong in this place in which the walls are green, the grass greener, and the envy greener still. 




What does that even mean?

WIth enough makeup, I think, with enough caffeine, articles,  sales, and good reviews, maybe my inside will match my outside and I’ll be enough. I’ll feel like I’m supposed to feel at this point, when everything is going my way, when people are talking about my book, when readers stand in line to get my name scrawled across a page, when I am a very. important. person. 

I hate writing the same thing twice.  I stare at the cover pages, wishing I could find words that are meaningful and true, words that are worthy of each unique, infinitely complicated and beautiful life that passed by me at the signing table, each very. important. person.  

I want to do right by them, especially the women who come through the line with tears in their eyes because I’ve spoken out loud an injustice that’s scarred on their hearts. They make me feel less alone. They inspire me. I want to hug their necks and weep with them and tell them that they are very. important. people, but there are twenty other very. important. people in line and the next session starts in five minutes. 

And, last time I checked, most authors don’t cry at their own book signings. 

The hardest part is thinking that if I fail, I fail them too. If I don’t win that debate, if I don’t contend that list, if I don’t confront that lie, then it will be said that no other woman could do it. It will be an indictment of our gender, proof that women should have no meaningful influence in the Church, proof that we aren’t worthy. 

So I vow to work this Christianity “industry” until it works for me. I vow to busy myself to death, to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity, to keep going even when I’m tired because I’ve convinced myself that I’m not just doing this for me, I’m doing this for everybody else; I’m doing this for Jesus. 

I'm doing this, I think, because I am a very. important. person. 

But no movement that needs me is a movement of the Spirit. 

The Spirit blows where it wishes.  

We hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from or where it is going. 

As the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so the Spirit will not return to the Father empty, but will accomplish the purpose for which He sent it. 

...With or without me. 

….With or without you. 

...With or without the very. important. people. 

So I take a Sabbath. 

And then I let the Sabbath take me. 

The emails pile up.  I say no.  I sit on the back porch and eat a crisp Jonagold. Mom and I make a salad. I sleep with my sweet Dan. I remember once again that the world doesn’t need me so desperately after all. 

A spirit-wind blows. 

Rain falls. 

Snow melts. 

The soil darkens with earthy nourishment. 

And important things begin to grow. 


What do you do to center yourself when you find yourself over-worked and stretched? Would love to hear from folks in ministry who deal with this on a regular basis.  

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